Evidence-based practice is widely accepted as the empirically-sufficient standard of practice that is reasonable and as a means for improving certainty (Christiansen & Lou, 2001). The main goals of evidence-based practice include the integration of expert opinion or clinical expertise; caregiver/patient/client perspectives and external scientific evidence in providing high quality clinical services that reflect the choices, needs, values and interests of the patients being served. Physicians should be very much aware of the necessity for knowing the research. Majority of the existing ethical codes demand informed consent. According to Christiansen & Lou (2001), ethical issues are always at the heart of all healthcare encounters. Telling the truth, fairness, avoiding harm, respecting autonomy and doing the right thing are part of these ethical concerns. For example, it is ethical for mental healthcare professionals to provide information to patients about the efficacy, effectiveness and other available and equivalent treatment options. This provides the patient with the power to make decisions regarding their health. These ethical factors are part of the goals of ethically based practice of integrating patient/ client perspectives and incorporating the choices, needs, values and interests of the patients being served.
According to Parker (2007), the knowledge and skills of a nurse are very important forces because they contribute to the power to impact patient care ethically. This shows the relationship between ethics and evidence-based practice. Using ethics to reach a solution should be done openly and with honesty. This involves an ethical decision-making model, which can only be arrived at by using the guidelines effective evidence-based practice. Communication skills are important in the establishment of effective working relationships which are critical in evidence-based practice. Communication is also important in ethical practice because it involves liaising between patients and healthcare providers.
Scientific dishonesty includes the actions or omissions connected to research, whereby distorted or false scientific results or misleading information on an individual’s role in research is given. It may also be explained as the falsification, plagiarism or fabrication in proposing, performing or analyzing research as well as in reporting research results. According to Michalek, Hutson, Wicher & Trump (2010), indicate that there are numerous consequences of misconduct and the costs involved with the investigation of these cases are substantial. First, Patients, funding agencies, and the direction of a particular research project of area may be affected adversely by scientific misconduct. Locally, colleagues, trainees, members of the laboratory shared with the perpetrator and the reputation of an institution may be placed in disrepute.
Secondly, there are extensive costs associated with scientific misconduct. These costs may be partitioned into three categories: investigation; conduct of the misconduct and remediation (Michalek, Hutson, Wicher & Trump, 2010). Investigative costs constitute a considerable part of the total costs associated with scientific misconduct. Investigative costs vary with the degree and nature of misconduct and its complexity as well as the time required to investigate comprehensively. The costs linked with the conduct of the research include the capital costs, grant funding, loss of productivity, personnel demoralization, occasionally, the institution conducting the fraudulent research may be required to refund costs or pay penalties. In addition, ongoing studies may have to be suspended to enable investigations to go on. Remediation costs may also be incurred. These are the costs associated with program closure. Pending grant applications and funding may be lost (Lee, 2011).
Christiansen, C., & Lou, J. Q. (2001). Ethical Considerations Related to Evidence-Based Practice. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55(3), 345-349.
Lee, J. (2011). The Past, Present, and Future of Scientific Misconduct Research: What Has Been Done? What needs to be done? The Journal of the Professoriate, 5(3), 67-83.
Michalek AM, Hutson AD, Wicher CP, Trump DL (2010) the Costs and Underappreciated Consequences of Research Misconduct: A Case Study. PLoS Med 7(8): e1000318. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000318
Parker, F., (2007) Ethics Column: "The Power of One" OJIN: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. (13)1.